Review: DOCILE by K.M. Szpara

Janelle Advance Copy, Book Reviews, Dystopia, Finished Copy, From Publisher, Graphic Content Warning, Science Fiction, Tor Books Leave a Comment

Thank you so much Tor Books for my free copy. 


There is no consent under capitalism.

To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future.

Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him.

Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects―and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it.


I  had no idea what to expect when I picked up DOCILE. The premise is disturbing, the narrative gripping, and the sex scenes graphic. Let’s just say the book is just under 500 pages and I read it within two days. Set in the near future in a world divided between debtors and the extremely wealthy, where debt trickles down from family member to family member since debt can no longer be erased by bankruptcy or even death.

One of many families crippled by debt is that of Elisha Wilder. His mother can no longer serve out her sentence, so Elisha offers himself up instead as he will do anything to protect his sister from this awful fate. During this process, he is chosen by Alexander Bishop III, the heir to the fortune of Dociline, the drug designed to make your DOCILE (aka slave) more at ease and compliant. However, one of rights you have as a DOCILE is to refuse the drug, which is exactly what Elisha does. This looks negatively on Alex so he punishes Elisha in the most despicable ways to make him a submissive. Let your imagination go to the extreme because Alex does exactly that. The way this story plays out is unusual and it’s one of the things I love most about it.

The character development is insanely good and Szpara is a massively talented writer. I’ve read an abundance of dystopian novels and the ones that stay with me always have a realistic premise. It is quite plausible that overwhelming debt can own us even more than it does now. Common sense and history tells me what human beings are capable of with such power over another person – it’s crazy! DOCILE is unique, scary, immersive, dark, intelligent, and steamy – love it or hate it, you will never get bored reading it. ★★★★★

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